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Location Iraq, Babil
Central coordinates 44o 16.53' East  32o 48.48' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i
Area 162 ha
Altitude 32 - 34m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Nature Iraq (Affiliate)

Site description Georg and Vielliard (1970) gave a number of counts made between Al Musayyib and Haswa in January 1968. The area, evidently a wetland but not further described, lies north of Al Musayyib, between the Tigris and the Euphrates. 2014 updates. Evans (1994) described this site (IBA018) as a wetland to the north of Musayab based on field survey made by George and Mahdi (1969), but it seems that the marsh described by Evans does not exist now. During the 2009 surveys, the team surveyed the area to the north of Musayab, mainly along the eastern side of the Euphrates River. The original Musayab IBA site appears to be located on the eastern side of Euphrates close to a small island in the middle of the river.

Key Biodiversity Georg and Vielliard (1970) counted 21,523 ducks and geese as well as a range of other waterbirds. There have been no other surveys.

Non-bird biodiversity: No information available to BirdLife International.

2014 updates. Additional Important Bird Observations: During the survey, 27 species were observed. Pallid Harrier Circus cyaneus, and Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (both Near Threatened) were recorded, and one restricted-range species, Iraq Babbler Turdoides altirostris, was found but this did not trigger inclusion under the A2 criterion. The site also held breeding populations of four Sahara-Sindian Desert biome-restricted species but these did not trigger inclusion under criterion A3. The Iraqi resident race of Little Grebe Tachibaptus ruficollis iraquensis breeds in the reedbeds along both sides of the river and the Iraqi race of Hooded Crow Corvus cornix capellanus (Mesopotamian Crow) occurs. Additional data on other (non-avian) fauna were not obtained.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1968-1979  3,196-6,021 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1968-1979  13,700-26,500 individuals  poor  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Not assessed  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport major
agriculture major
hunting major
fisheries/aquaculture major

Acknowledgements Information compiled by D. J. Brooks, reviewed by Dr Khalid Y. Al-Dabbagh and Dr Hanna Y. Siman.

References Georg and Vielliard (1970). 2014 updates. Evans M.I. (1994). Important Bird Areas in the Middle East. Birdlife International, Cambridge, UK. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 2. George PV & Mahdi A. (1969). Systematic list of Iraqi vertebrates - Aves. Iraq Natural History Museum Publication 26: 34–63.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Musayab . Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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